Since the crew was ordered to leave Endurance they were forced to sleep in tents and some on the snow. Their orders entailed that they were allowed to bring 2 pounds of personal items, six pairs of socks, two pairs of mittens, a sleeping bag, and a pound of tobacco. Shackleton wrote in his journal, “I pray to God I can manage to get the whole party safe to civilization” (Lansing 65). He did a great job seeing that the crew’s spirits are still high and they continue to play card games like bridge for enjoyment. This would be very difficult for me to stay positive. They were doing what they needed to do to stay alive. The crew began to live just for food. At one point when McNeish was put in charge, they pried a hole in the deck and barrels of food began to float up like walnuts, sugar, baking soda, vegetables, and barley. This was all brought to camp and it was determined that the crew could have full rations for the next two months. I think the barrels of food found will ease their anxiety a little bit about food. Shackleton was more aware of his crew’s personalities than I thought. He purposely would place some in separate tents because too much interaction between them could cause conflict. I feel that is a great idea because the last thing the crew needed was to verbally or physically fight with one another.
Unfortunately, the crew had to painfully watch Endurance be picked up and then submerged into the water. That was their only symbol of civilization and it was destroyed right in front of them. However, the full rations of food will hopefully help keep their spirits up. On top of that, they are about to retreat. I hope Shackleton is right and the New Year brings them good fortune.